Sunday, July 29, 2012

WTF did I just buy - Weird bolt Action 1911 'upper'.

I was a petty officer once.  It didn't mean anything to me then, other than a few dollars more on my reserve paycheck.  When I switched from reserves to active in April, they bumped me down to an E-3 seaman.  I didn't mind.  I didn't care about the money, and I feel like there would be less responsibility for someone such as myself who had never been in the 'real' navy.  I leave for Camp Pendleton for training with the Fleet Marine Force in August.  That's nearly four months I've been here at the RTC NAVET/OSVET program basically doing nothing and collecting a paycheck.  I almost feel guilty about wasting taxpayers money, but then I say screw it.

On my way to chow hall (or pretty much anywhere on base), at least once a week, I get stopped by an RDC and yelled at for being in the 'wrong place'.  All I can tell them is that I'm from NAVET/OSVET.  Sometimes they don't know what the hell that is, so I tell them I've from 'that barracks over there,' and if they still don't know, they'll look at  me with suspicious eyes, act like they know and tell me to carry on.  Not only that, every friday they make me wear an orange vest for 'roadguard duty,' which is just stopping traffic to allow civilians to cross the street going to the graduation ceremony.  It pissed me off the one time when we had an RDC overseer make us do fucking facing movements.  Then a graduate said to me 'Thanks, recruit!'  I don't know why, but being mistaken as a recruit is the ultimate humiliation for me at Great Lakes.  If I still had my Petty Officer's chevrons I'm pretty sure this wouldn't happen.  For that reason alone, I'm TAKING this paycheck without a guilty conscience (that and I got screwed out of a signup bonus twice in a four year span).

And now back to the god damned guns!  Being stuck here in the barracks with nothing better to do, I like to check out eBay often in search for deals.  I came across a very strange adapter unit for the Colt 1911.  The auction listed it as a Safari Arms Survivor Conversion Upper for the 1911A1 pistol.  Despite the post title, I have some idea what it may be - some kind of bizzare bolt-action 1911 adapter.  But who exactly made it and when?  It had a buy-it-now option and I knew I had to own it before anyone else grabbed it.  I impulse bought this thing with nothing more than a quick google search which revealed zero useful results.  As far as I can tell, there is very little information about this gun.  No production numbers, no dates, no serials.  It was made by Safari Arms which was a small company from Florida that made custom 1911 parts, then the company was sold to Olympic Arms.  That's about all I know.  There's an ammo manufacturer from Newyork called Safari but I don't think they're related.

Closeup of the left locking surface
I haven't even got to touch the thing because it's sitting at my house right now and I won't be able to look at it until I go on leave in October.  I don't own a 1911, but I have always wanted a bolt-action, pistol-caliber carbine.  It didn't come with a stock or barrel.  The seller had previously sold a second 'Survivor' kit with just a stock and it looked pretty primitive to me.  It was just a metal wire stock with a buttplate attached, similar to a Sten.  The stock would screw into the back end of the receiver.  What I'd like to do is fashion an adapter to attach an AK wirefolder stock, an M16A1 stock or maybe one of those AR stubby stocks.  For the replacement barrel, I can get a gunsmith to whip up one up for 100 bucks once I go on leave and get the dimensions.  The lockup seems to be unique - it appears to use the outside of receiver itself as the lugs, which looks like its just a hole bored straight through both the receiver and bolt, and then the T-handle goes through both the bolt and receiver to lock itself in place.  The T-handle is pulled outward and the bolt is pulled straight back to eject and chamber a new round.  It's interesting and I've never seen anything like it.  As for the frame I figure I could pick up a Chinese 1911 from Cabelas and get some money back by selling the slide-barrel assembly.

The only good closeup shot in the film.
 It's really weird that I can't find any pictures of a complete kit/gun or even any serious discussion on this.  It looks like it's well-made judging only by the pictures.  Having been on various gun forums, I know I'm not the only one interested in strange firearms accessories.  Hell, there's two different break-top single-shot conversion units for the 1911 that are highly sought after.  The only reference I can find on this are some Bluebook values, which I'm pretty sure they have no idea what the hell they're talking about, as rare items tend to sell more than they're worth on auction sites.  I did find a mention on IMFDB is that this gun apparently made an appearance in the 1985 British spy film "Wild Geese II", so I at least have a vague production date.  I ended up watching this shitty film just so I could get some pictures.  That was a serious waste of two hours I'll never get back.


  1. Do you still have this? How much do you want for it?

  2. Sorry, I already sold the one without the stock and I plan on keeping the other.

    I've seen one other one of these pop up online about a year ago, so I don't think they're as rare as I thought. Just keep an Email Alert on GunBroker, AuctionArms, and ebay for "Safari Arms Survivor"


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